Comments on Government Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Express Bus (Intra-Urban) Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Planning RapidPenang Safety, Health and Environment Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities

CityLiner to receive operations subsidy from Penang Government

TRANSIT took note of this article which states that the Penang Government will provide an operational subsidy of RM140,000 per month to bus operator CityLiner to continue operating bus services in Sebarang Prai until May 2012.

This came after the bus companies operating under the CityLiner brand threatened to stop bus operations in Sebarang Prai as of November 21st, because the operations had become unsustainable due to low revenues and higher costs. This came as part of a shutdown in multiple states that has provided major inconvenience for public transport users throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

CityLiner is the stage bus brand of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB), which is Malaysia’s largest bus operator.

Cityliner gets subsidy to keep it going (The Star)
Saturday December 10, 2011

BUTTERWORTH: Cityliner buses will continue to provide services on the Penang mainland at least until May next year.

The Penang Government will provide a RM140,000 subsidy per month to Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB) for six months to help the company maintain the Cityliner service.

State Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state had accepted the subsidy proposal by KTB as a short-term remedy for the company to continue providing the bus service.

Comments on Government Comments on Planning Complaints - Bus Services Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Planning Safety, Health and Environment Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation

No bus for you, Sebarang Prai (as of 21 November). Watch out, Kedah & Perak. You might be next! (Update #2)

  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that the Penang Government will provide subsidy to CityLiner!
  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that CityLiner bus services will operate until the end of November, and that CityLiner is in talks with the Penang Government to resolve the issues facing their operations in the state!

TRANSIT has learned that Konsortium Transnasional Berhad will stop CityLiner stage bus services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November 2011 – this coming Monday.

We urge public transport users in Sebarang Prai who rely on CityLiner bus routes to make alternative transport plans immediately – so that they are prepared if and when the shut down takes place.

And since SPAD has already been caught flat-footed by the shutdown of CityLiner bus services in Negri Sembilan, as well as the threatened shutdowns in Kedah, problems in Perak, Melaka and Kelantan, and other issues … well, we do not see any solutions coming anytime soon.

The public transport industry has been in pain for  a long time. Sadly, while the government has changed from two ineffective “doctors” (CVLB & Department of Railways) to one unproven “doctor” (SPAD), they have done very little to alleviate the pain.

Sure, this new “doctor” has lots of wonderful plans for the public transport industry, but like many of the young among us, this “doctor” is more interested in the urban lifestyle (KL & the Klang Valley), and in the flashy & fancy solutions (LRT, MRT) rather than the reliable and effective medicine (realistic solutions).

To borrow another analogy, SPAD is pumping the public transport industry full of steroids to make it look big & strong, instead of cutting the fat & improving fitness, to make the industry lean, mean, and healthy.

Ok, enough with the analogies. The article is after the jump:

Comments on Government Complaints - Other Feedback Information Local Councils Money Better Spent Elsewhere Planning Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure Transit-Oriented Development

Penang Hill Railway Update: new proposals for PHR stations draw ire of bloggers

TRANSIT took note of the recent announcement of plans for Penang Hill by PDC, the Penang Hill Development Corporation.

The PDC has been in the news recently because of problems with the recently reopened Penang Hill Railway, as well as complaints about parking access and the size of the newly (slowly?) constructed car park which is being described as a “kancil car park” (as in, only suitable for small cars like the Perodua Kancil).

This post by Anil Netto, Welcome to Penang Hill Airport Terminal … oops, Railway Station, encapsulates some of the issues that are being held regarding development on Penang Hill.

TRANSIT will update this post with our own comments in a short while.

Feedback Information Relay Local Councils News & Events Safety, Health and Environment Tram

PHR Update: Who let the dogs out?

TRANSIT took note that service on the Penang Hill Railway, (which recently re-started operations on April 25th) was disrupted on Tuesday 3 May – apparently by a stray dog or group of stray dogs getting caught in the power system and getting caught – causing the train to run into them.

Stray dogs said to have caused damage to hill railway system (The Star, 5 May 2011)

Ng Wei Aik, Komtar assemblyman, responding to the collision and the service problems over the labour day weekend, later commented that the Penang Hill Corporation had hired unqualified staff for the Penang Hill Railway.

More info about the rush in demand for the railway:

And to add to the strangeness, one newspaper reports Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng alleging that the Penang Hill Railway had been brought down by sabotage.

Lim not convinced with canine excuse for Penang Hill train failure (The Star, 6 May 2011)


Yeah…this is getting weirder and weirder. So we don’t know what to say. So we thought we would leave it to another blogger, Anil Netto (based in Penang) who has a few additional posts on the Penang Hill Railway upgrading project:


Penang State politics, BN and Pakatan politics, DAP vs. MCA politics. Why does public transport in Malaysia always have to involve politics?

Socioeconomic Equity Tram Transit Facilities

Penang Hill Railway restarts operations on 25 April 2011

TRANSIT took note of this article about the Penang Hill Railway, which restarted operations yesterday.

2,000 take upgraded Penang Hill train (The Star)
Tuesday April 26, 2011

The Penang Hill Railway is back! Image courtesy of The Star.

GEORGE TOWN: A honeymooning couple from Saudi Arabia was among some 2,000 tourists and locals who boarded the Penang Hill funicular train, which resumed operations after a lapse of 14 months.

Complaints - Other Ferry/Water-based Transport Local Councils News & Events SPAD / LTC Taxi Transit Infrastructure

Updates #82

Updates #82

1. An Electric Trike In The Trunk Makes For The Ultimate Hybrid Eco-Car(, 22 April 2011) – The Geely McCar concept (electric or electric hybrid) includes a built-in electrically powered trike (3 wheel scooter) that fits into the space between the driver & passenger seats.

A Geely McCar hybrid with its electrically powered trike. Image courtesy of

[TRANSIT: Now this is an interesting concept – and there would certainly be a market for the “real” version of the vehicle here in Malaysia. More info here. Google search on Geely McCar here.]

2. Article: Prasarana’s gearing to rise to 4-5 times when remaining LRT sukuk issued (The Edge, 23 April 2011) – More information on Prasarana bond rating & sale of additional bonds for the LRT extension

3. Article: Boost on the way for Kuantan bus service (The Star, 22 April 2011) – the Pahang Gov’t is in talks with a consortium to improve the bus service in Kuantan.

[TRANSIT: Hopefully this will not be a repeat of RapidTerengganu or Perak Transit – nice ideas from a well-meaning government that end up going nowhere.]

4. Article: BEST passengers increase six folds, more pick-up points mulled (The Star, 22 April 2011) – demand for the Penang Bridge Express Shuttle Transit service is increasing.

5. Letter: Ferries and terminals need makeover (26 April 2011) – Sohan Singh of Tg. Tokong comments on the appearance of the ferry terminals at Weld Quay, Penang.

6. Article: Cabbies get new uniforms (The Star, 25 April 2011) – Seberang Prai Municipal Councillor Teoh Seang Hooi used his April allowance to purchase uniforms for 17 taxi drivers in Nibong Tebal (at a cost of RM65 each).

7. Article: Fast Exit (NST Streets, 25 April 2011) – The direct link from KL Sentral to Lebuhraya Mahameru is now complete and open to drivers – and hopefully to buses. The article also has some information on plans for a contra-flow lane for buses & taxis on Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields.

8. Article: KTM run attracts 760 (NST Streets, 25 April 2011) – KTM’s Komuter Run 2011 attracted 760 runners.

Comments on Planning Complaints - Bus Services Information Relay Local Councils RapidPenang

Another foreigner got upset with RapidPenang’s bus map (Update #1)

Once again, we hear of a foreigner lamenting on Rapid Penang’s lack of concern over making their bus routes, stops and timetables legible to users. The comment, which appears on today’s Aliran, also touches on transit-oriented city planning and Malaysia’s negative build-rail-to-solve-congestion mentality.

Behind the surface issues are, of course, the problems with policy-making & cooperation that make improving public transport so frustrating.

ALIRAN Newspaper, April 20, 2011

Penang: Easier to win lottery than to find bus routes info — Florian Ladage

APRIL 20 — I’ve been “enjoying” Penang’s public transport system only for a few weeks now, but even after that short period of time, there can be no doubt that what is in place right now is not doing the job.

Bicycle Complaints - KTM Feedback Information JPJ / RTD Mass Transit Proposals News & Events SPAD / LTC

Updates #81

Updates #81

1.Article: Enter the electric trishaw in Penang (Star Metro) – an electric trishaw is introduced for the Penang State Museum & Art Gallery’s 46th Anniversary.

Welsh tourist Sian Wintle gets a free ride on a motor-assisted trishaw driven by Abdul Latiff. Image courtesy of The Star.
The trishaws motor assist runs on a lithium polymer battery. Image courtesy of The Star.
Comments on Government Feedback Information Information Relay Local Councils News & Events RapidPenang SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure

Rapid Penang rides? There’s an app for that! (now available)

Update: The Rapid Penang app is now available at this link:

TRANSIT noted some very interesting articles from up in Penang that we thought would interest you.

First, for the benefit of customers, RapidPenang has launched their iPlanner application for Apple iPhone and iPad products. The item will be available for free download from the Apple iTunes “App Store” and TRANSIT will post the link as soon as it is uploaded.

TRANSIT also notes that RapidPenang expects to carry 48 million riders next year once the 200 new buses arrive at the end of this year. 60 of the 200 buses will be double decker buses which will expand the passenger capacity of the fleet while reducing operational costs. TRANSIT is looking forward to seeing the buses on the roads of Penang and we will share any info that we have with you about the buses.

Outgoing Rapid Penang CEO Azhar Ahmad says among his challenges in transforming public transport in the state was getting the authorities to work in tandem with Rapid Penang. Image courtesy of NST.

Finally, TRANSIT notes that Azhar Ahmad, CEO of RapidPenang, made his farewells yesterday. Azhar has been appointed the Chief Operating Officer of the Land Public Transport Commission, filling the position left by Shahril Mokhtar, who was appointed Managing Director of Prasarana in September 2010.


TRANSIT thanks Azhar for 4 years of effort to improve public transport in Penang. We expect that he will be sorely missed there. And we wish him the best of luck with the challenge of revamping the bus system in Malaysia through his position with SPAD.

Read an interview with Azhar after the jump

Feedback Information Mass Transit Proposals News & Events Pedestrian Pedestrianisation Safety, Health and Environment Transit Infrastructure

Updates #78

Updates #78

1. Article: One passenger killed, six seriously injured in bus-lorry crash (Malay Mail, 20 March 2011) – A passenger was killed while six others were seriously injured when their bus was involved in an accident with two lorries at Km341.9 North South Expressway early today. This article, Injured man in bus crash killed while rescuing passengers (The Star) has more details as well as some disturbing photos.

Sahad @ Shariff Md Din was earlier travelling with his family and other passengers when the bus they were in crashed into a lorry.

The 74-year-old who was helping the injured victims was flung into a ravine and killed when the stalled bus got hit a second time at KM341.9 of the North-South Expressway near Bidor by a container lorry.

Mangled wreckage: An expressway staff and a tow truck worker checking the damage on the bus near Bidor Sunday. Image courtesy of The Star.
Words of comfort: A policeman keeping a victim company as firemen fight to free her from under the wreckage of the express bus at KM341.9 of the North-South Expressway Sunday. Image courtesy of The Star.